2020 Iowa Caucuses

Drake University / Flickr

On this edition of River to River, host Ben Kieffer sits down with IPR's Clay Masters, UNI's Donna Hoffman and ISU's Jonathan Hassid to recap last night's CNN Des Moines Register Democratic Presidential Debate hosted at Drake University. 

CNN

Six Democratic presidential candidates faced off at a debate at Drake University in Des Moines Tuesday, less than three weeks ahead of the state’s first-in-the-nation caucuses. 

AP Photo / Patrick Semansky

Six Democratic presidential candidates are debating in Iowa on Tuesday, less than three weeks from the caucuses there. NPR reporters are providing background and analysis of the candidates' remarks in real-time.

Clay Masters / IPR

Six of the Democratic presidential hopefuls will debate in Des Moines Tuesday at Drake University. It is the first time there will be no candidates of color on the stage. The chairman of the Democratic National Committee is standing by the standards to make it on that debate stage.

Iowa's Democratic Party plans to use a new Internet-connected smartphone app to help calculate and transmit results during the state's caucuses next month, Iowa Public Radio and NPR have confirmed.

Party leaders say they decided to opt for that strategy fully aware of three years' worth of warnings about Russia's attack on the 2016 presidential election, in which cyberattacks played a central role.

Courtesy of "Adore Us! Line" Production Team

From the creator of "Caucus: The Musical," a new song-by song parody of "A Chorus Line" showcases the 2020 Democratic candidates auditioning for Iowa voters. 

Composer, Playwright, and Producer Robert John Ford joins this edition of Talk of Iowa to discuss the opening of his musical, "Adore Us! Line." 

Clay Masters / IPR

A respected poll out this weekend in Iowa shows 45 percent of likely Democratic caucusgoers say they could still be persuaded to support someone else. The state's caucuses, which are first in the presidential nominating process, are now about three weeks away. 

The Des Moines Register/CNN/Mediacom Iowa Poll also says 13 percent of those likely to caucus on February 3 have not picked a favorite.

Kate Payne / IPR

Former Massachusetts governor and Republican presidential candidate Bill Weld returned to Iowa this week for the first time since the Iowa State Fair and said he offers an alternative to President Donald Trump on a variety of issues from economic conservatism to climate change.

Element 5 Digital / Unsplash

Iowa has been hosting first-in-the-nation caucuses since 1972, but the proceedings have shifted with the years. Since the last caucuses in 2016, the DNC has mandated a new set of changes. IPR Reporter Kate Payne joins this 'News Buzz' edition of River to River to summarize how the upcoming Democratic caucuses on Feb. 3 will differ. 

There are plenty of critics of the Iowa caucuses. This year, there's pressure from insiders and outsiders to change the process. On the seventeenth episode of Caucus Land, we'll talk about why some of those changes haven't happened with Lauren Chooljian, a host of the New Hampshire Public Radio podcast Stranglehold. Plus, conversations with two candidates: former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg and entrepreneur Andrew Yang.


Pete Souza / The Obama White House

In 2007, Iowa native Chris Liddell-Westefeld became a field organizer for the Obama campaign. His early start eventually led to career in White House where he spent five years working for the Obama Administration.

Right before Liddell-Westefeld's departure, he started a project to document President Obama’s historic path to the White House. Twelve years and 200 interviews later, Liddell-Westefeld has now released his book “They Said This Day Would Never Come: Chasing The Dream On Obama’s Improbable Campaign.”

Clay Masters / IPR

Politicians around the country have been responding to President Donald Trump's order to kill Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani. This is also the case in Iowa, where the caucuses are now less than a month away.

Many of the Democrats were in the state this weekend, including two of the front runners: Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders.

In Waterloo, Former Vice President Joe Biden spent time calling possible supporters to see if he could count on their support on February 3.

He held a flip phone to his right ear. 

John Pemble / Iowa Public Radio

Entrepreneur and Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang is best known for his pitch for universal basic income, or the freedom dividend, where he’d give every American $1,000 a month. Yang talks about his signature policy and reacts to U.S. killing of Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani. 

Katie Peikes / IPR

A Democrat who's been running for president longer than anyone else in this cycle is pulling out all the stops to gain traction ahead of the Iowa caucuses next month. Former Maryland Congressman John Delaney has set out to visit at least 40 towns in Iowa ahead of the caucuses. 

Kate Payne/IPR

Democratic presidential candidates are criticizing the Trump administration’s decision-making process in killing a top Iranian military commander. With less than a month until the first in the nation Iowa caucuses, some potential caucusgoers say the tensions in the Middle East could impact how they make their decisions.

Kate Payne / IPR

A month out from caucus night, entrepreneur Andrew Yang is banking on success in Iowa to rocket his upstart campaign through the early states and “all the way to the top."

Katie Peikes / IPR

Democratic presidential candidate and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar is touting a surge in her campaign, about a month ahead of the Iowa caucuses. She returned to Iowa less than a week after completing visits to all of Iowa's 99 counties.

Clay Masters / IPR

With 2020 comes a presidential election in November and the nominating process for the Democrats starts in just a little over a month in Iowa. Democratic candidate and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders held a New Year’s Eve rally Tuesday night in downtown Des Moines.

Thomas Hawk via flickr creative commons / https://www.flickr.com/photos/thomashawk/14471621099/

Iowa caucusgoers who update their party registration by December 31st will have an easier check-in process on caucus night. Both major parties are encouraging caucusgoers to make sure their information is current to avoid any further delays at their caucus locations.

Clay Masters / IPR

South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg finds himself polling in Iowa in the top tier among U.S. senators and a former vice president. The soon-to-be former mayor is a Rhodes Scholar and a military veteran, among other things. Buttigieg talks about foreign policy and healthcare with IPR Caucus Land co-hosts Clay Masters and Kate Payne in late December.

Mark Boss/Unsplash

Back in September, more than 1,000 people packed Coe College’s Sinclair Auditorium in Cedar Rapids to hear Democratic presidential candidates in the first LGBTQ forum of the 2020 race. 

Ten candidates including former Vice President Joe Biden, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, and Senators Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, and Amy Klobuchar joined the event. Each took the stage to share how they plan to address the concerns of LGBTQ voters.

When Barack Obama ran for president in 2008, he defined marriage as “between a man and a woman." A decade later, that position would be almost unimaginable in this cycle’s Democratic presidential race. On the sixteenth episode of Caucus Land, we’ll talk about how the candidates are approaching LGBTQ policy. Plus, we’ll wade into the debate over whether Iowa is diverse enough to be first in the nation.


Reid Rosenberg / Flickr

The Iowa Democratic Party released a list of 99 satellite caucus locations Wednesday, paving the way for Iowans to participate in the state’s first in the nation caucuses in such faraway locations as Scotland and France. The expansion of sites inside and outside of Iowa is an unprecedented move as the state party works to make its notoriously complicated process more accessible.

John Pemble/ IPR file

Entrepreneur and presidential candidate Andrew Yang is touting his status as the only person of color to qualify for the upcoming Democratic debate. Seven leading candidates will take to the stage in Los Angeles this Thursday for the sixth televised debate

Phil Roeder / Flickr

Democrats running for president in Iowa are working to get teachers in their corners on caucus night. Teachers are a coveted voting bloc because they show up in numbers and are well-organized.

Iowa has around 40,000 elementary, middle and high school teachers, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Mack Shelley, a political science professor at Iowa State University, said teachers’ unions across the country have been flexing their political strength.

Photo Courtesry of Sehba Faheem

Generation Z is the most racially and ethnically diverse generation yet, and they’re poised to be the most educated generation too.  In 2020, Gen Zers, many of whom are in their early 20s and late teens will also become the newest generation to head out on Caucus Day with the hopes of influencing the selection of the next Democratic nominee for president.

Ben Kieffer / Iowa Public Radio

At a marathoner's pace, Pete Buttigieg has pulled ahead in the race for the Democratic nomination, and he's now a top contender. Being at the top has certainly caught the attention of many Iowans planning to caucus, both in gaining new supporters and drawing harsh criticisms about his past at the same time.

Former U.S. Housing Secretary Julian Castro speaks at a town hall questioning Iowa and New Hampshire's place as the first states in the presidential nomination process.
Grant Gerlock / IPR

Democratic presidential candidate Julian Castro said that Iowa’s lack of diversity makes it harder for candidates of color to break through the presidential field and that a state with more black and Latino voters would better represent the party.

John Minchillo / AP Photo

With California Sen. Kamala Harris out of the race, the next Democratic primary debate stage is set to feature the whitest lineup in the 2020 race yet, despite the historic racial and ethnic diversity represented in the current presidential candidate pool. 

At the time Harris announced plans to suspend her campaign, the debate stage was poised to feature an all-white slate of candidates. Businessman Andrew Yang, who is Asian American, has since qualified for the December 19th debate, cohosted by PBS NewsHour and Politico.

Clay Masters / IPR

Many of the Democratic presidential candidates were in Iowa over the weekend. Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders ended a four-day swing through the state with a town hall in Indianola Sunday. Sanders said his Medicare For All proposal will be better for middle class Americans than his Democratic competitors.

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